(Link will go live on 04/29/2021)

Join our Founder-in-Residence Thom Webster for an introduction of the new Venture Café OnRamp Program. This free community series includes 1.5 hours of weekly services offered over 8 weeks of interdependent workshops, meetups, and forums being convened as part of the Venture Café program, held on Thursdays from 4:30 – 6:00 PM EST beginning May 6, 2021. This kick-off session will feature a panel discussion featuring prominent figures in the Philadelphia startup ecosystem, who will be discussing their startup experience and personal journey as a Founder and what lessons learned would be helpful to others looking to travel this exciting entrepreneurial path. Rudy Ellis, Founder of Switchboard Live: Rudiger J. Ellis, better known as Rudy, is the CEO of Switchboard Live; a cloud computing company that helps businesses manage their live video activations, across multiple platforms, to improve audience reach and engagement. Rudy has been in various senior leadership roles over the past ten years in both network operations and live streaming services. He was the Director of Streaming Services while at NeuLion for close to 3 years and was responsible for implementing and leading both the Digital Broadcast and Live Services team while at XOS Digital previously. Jessie Garcia, Founder of Tozuda, LLC: Jesse Garcia is the CEO and Founder of Tozuda, a technology company revolutionizing the way that athletes and institutions approach traumatic brain injuries. Tozuda’s mechanical sensors easily attach to a helmet and detect when a hit from any direction is potentially concussive. When impacted hard enough, the sensor releases a red dye, indicating that an athlete should be checked out by a doctor before returning to the game. Moderator: Thom Webster, OnRamp Founder-in-Residence: Thom is an experienced business leader and entrepreneur in the creation and development of for-profit and non-profit organizations in both the private and public sectors. He has over thirty-five years of experience with assisting organizations as a senior advisor in the planning and development of business strategy; the launching and expansion of new divisions; and the financing and capitalization of programs. Thom currently serves as a Management Advisor to BASE Architecture, Planning, & Engineering, one of the most successful and experienced nationally owned and operated African-American Architectural and Engineering Firms; and to The Alpha Enterprise Group, ranked by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the top 100 largest African American owned businesses in America. Aniyia Williams, Founder and Chair, Board of Directors of Black & Brown Founders: Aniyia Williams is a systempreneur, creator, inventor, tech changemaker, and investor. She is a principal on the Responsible Technology team at Omidyar Network, and works to help the tech world live up to its promise of changing lives for the better. Aniyia founded Black & Brown Founders, a nonprofit which helps Black and Latinx entrepreneurs launch tech businesses. She continues to serve as the organization’s board chair. Aniyia is also co-founder of Zebras Unite, an entrepreneur-led movement focused on creating a more ethical and sustainable startup ecosystem through capital, culture, and community; convener of the Black Innovation Alliance, an ecosystem of organizations that support, fund, and sustain Black innovators; and co-founder of the Firefly Alliance, a community that equips women with collaborative leadership skills to move beyond racism and sexism. Previously, Aniyia founded the fashion tech company, Tinsel, which invented the world’s first audio necklace, designed in response to a lack of electronics developed for women.  
April 29, 2021
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